《美食祈祷和恋爱》Chapter 6 (11):分手以后

Source: 互联网    2011-12-02  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

Oh, but it wasn't all bad, those few years . . .


Because God never slams a door in your face without opening a box of Girl Scout cookies (or however the old adage goes), some wonderful things did happen to me in the shadow of all that sorrow. For one thing, I finally started learning Italian. Also, I found an Indian Guru. Lastly, I was invited by an elderly medicine man to come and live with him in Indonesia.


I'll explain in sequence.


To begin with, things started to look up somewhat when I moved out of David's place in early 2002 and found an apartment of my own for the first time in my life. I couldn't afford it, since I was still paying for that big house in the suburbs which nobody was living in anymore and which my husband was forbidding me to sell, and I was still trying to stay on top of all my legal and counseling fees . . . but it was vital to my survival to have a One Bedroom of my own. I saw the apartment almost as a sanatorium, a hospice clinic for my own recovery. I painted the walls in the warmest colors I could find and bought myself flowers every week, as if I were visiting myself in the hospital. My sister gave me a hot water bottle as a housewarming gift (so I wouldn’t have to be all alone in a cold bed) and I slept with the thing laid against my heart every night, as though nursing a sports injury.


David and I had broken up for good. Or maybe we hadn't. It's hard to remember now how many times we broke up and joined up over those months. But there emerged a pattern: I would separate from David, get my strength and confidence back, and then (attracted as always by my strength and confidence) his passion for me would rekindle. Respectfully, soberly and intelligently, we would discuss "trying again," always with some sane new plan for minimizing our apparent incompatibilities. We were so committed to solving this thing. Because how could two people who were so in love not end up happily ever after? It had to work. Didn't it? Reunited with fresh hopes, we'd share a few deliriously happy days together. Or sometimes even weeks. But eventually David would retreat from me once more and I would cling to him (or I would cling to him and he would retreat—we never could figure out how it got triggered) and I’d end up destroyed all over again. And he’d end up gone.


David was catnip and kryptonite to me.


But during those periods when we were separated, as hard as it was, I was practicing living alone. And this experience was bringing a nascent interior shift. I was beginning to sense that—even though my life still looked like a multi-vehicle accident on the New Jersey Turnpike during holiday traffic—I was tottering on the brink of becoming a self-governing individual. When I wasn't feeling suicidal about my divorce, or suicidal about my drama with David, I was actually feeling kind of delighted about all the compartments of time and space that were appearing in my days, during which I could ask myself the radical new question: "What do you want to do, Liz?"


Most of the time (still so troubled from bailing out of my marriage) I didn't even dare to answer the question, but just thrilled privately to its existence. And when I finally started to answer, I did so cautiously. I would only allow myself to express little baby-step wants. Like:

在大多数时候(我仍对自己逃出婚姻感到心神不安),我根本不敢问这个问题,只是私底下激动地发现其存在。而当我终于开始回答时,我十分谨慎。 我只容许自己表达初级的需要。像是:

I want to go to a Yoga class.


I want to leave this party early, so I can go home and read a novel.


I want to buy myself a new pencil box.


Then there would always be that one weird answer, same every time:


I want to learn how to speak Italian.


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